Media statement by MP for Bakri, Yeo Bee Yin in Bakri, Johor on 8 June 2021:
Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) need to buck-up its data management capability to fulfill the objectives of Phase 2 of National Covid-19 Immunisation Program (NCIP)
Recently MySejahtera has introduced several new features in Helpdesk, one of which is for senior citizens above 60 years old who have registered but not obtained vaccination appointments. This is a sign that the RM 70 million National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme’s (NCIP) data integration and appointment system does not even have basic data management capability.
Actually from the database of vaccine registration and tracking system of the progress of vaccination, the data system is supposed to be able to extract out those who are above 60 years old but still not vaccinated and their respective locations just from the age and location fields filled by them during the online registration process. This can even be done with simple filter, sorting and logic functions in Microsoft Excel, why is the RM 70 million data system not able to do it?
In addition, during the vaccine registration process, people are asked to answer several questions including whether they are persons with disabilities or have any comorbidities (if yes, tick what they are). These are all targeted groups for Phase 2 in NCIP and they are supposed to be given appointments through simple algorithm in the data integration and appointment system. Why was it not done? Many of these priority groups need to be arranged manually.
Let me give a simple on-the-ground example. Our office got to know that the vaccination centre in Muar district (that covers for 3 parliament constituency – Pagoh, Muar and Bakri) had reached senior citizens born in 1957 years or earlier on 30th May 2021, so we issued notice to people in Muar district to get those who are older to register with us to identify people who fall through the crack and to prepare a backup list for the vaccination center to call. We have received more than 500 calls since then. There were even those in their 80s with comorbidities that have not obtained appointment. While we can solve these problems individually by arranging them through vaccination centre back-up list at the local level, this scenario has pointed that there are serious flaws in the RM 70 million data and appointment system algorithm.
With that, I call upon the immunisation minister Khairy Jamaluddin to answer why the CITF data team was not able to extract out the list of senior citizen and priority groups from the database and arrange appointments for them accordingly. CITF needs to buck-up on its data management capability to ensure the objectives of Phase 2 NCIP will be achieved soon. In addition, Khairy should also disclose the qualifications and capability of the data team behind the RM 70 million system as their capability in handling data for NCIP is seriously in doubt now.
Lastly, CITF must assess if there is any possibility to improve the capability of the data integration and appointment system in a short frame of time, otherwise they should start looking for a decentralized and simpler system that runs in parallel with this clumsy not-so-smart centralized system to ensure that data management does not become an obstacle for a smooth vaccination rollout.